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2022 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Erika Tymrak

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The Orlando Pride acquired the rights to Erika Tymrak from Kansas City, along with midfielder Gunny Jónsdóttir, on Jan. 30, 2021. In exchange, the Pride gave up the rights to Kristen Edmonds and a second-round draft pick. Tymrak had retired in January of 2020 but decided to return to her pro career, and the Pride signed her to a contract on Feb. 5 of last year, just days after acquiring her rights. The Pride picked up Tymrak’s 2022 contract option last December, following the 2021 season.

Let’s look back at Tymrak’s second year with the Pride.

Statistical Breakdown

Tymrak played in five of Orlando’s six matches in the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup, starting three of them, before a minor injury kept her out of the team’s last game in the competition. She logged 265 minutes in the Challenge Cup without contributing a goal or an assist, attempting just two unblocked shots and getting neither on target. She was successful on just one of eight crosses but she did manage 10 key passes in those five games, passing at a solid 80.9% rate overall, which dropped to 67.8% in the attacking half and only 40% on long passes. Defensively, she contributed two interceptions, an 83.3% tackle success rate, 63% duel success rate, and a 100% aerial duel success rate. She won three fouls, conceded only one, and was not booked.

In the regular season, Tymrak made 15 appearances (10 starts), logging 876 minutes — 300 more than last year. She did not score a goal on her 18 unblocked shots (10 on target), but did contribute two assists. Tymrak was successful on three of her 15 open-play crosses and tallied 18 key passes, passing at a 75.8% rate (72.7% on long passes), with 69.6% accuracy in the attacking half. Defensively, she contributed one clearance and seven interceptions, winning just 44.8% of her tackle attempts. She did well in duels, winning 59.8% of the time, and won half her aerial duels. She won 13 fouls while committing only four, and was booked twice.

Best Game

Tymrak helped the Pride overcome a 2-0 deficit on July 3 against Racing Louisville at Daytona International Speedway as the teams played as part of the 2022 Daytona SoccerFest. It was the first top-flight soccer game played at the iconic auto racing facility, and Tymrak helped the Pride rally for a 2-2 draw and a hard-fought point. She started the match and played 89 minutes — her longest outing of the season to that point, and bested only when she went the full 90 on four occasions later in the year when Orlando suffered a rash of injuries.

That day in Daytona, the veteran attacking midfielder led the Pride in shot attempts (3), chances created (4), cross attempts (4), and successful attacking third passes (12). Her 30 completed passes were second only to Megan Montefusco’s 49. Tymrak got one of her shots on target, completed passes at a 75% rate, had two ball recoveries, committed two fouls, and won one, while picking up one of her two yellow cards on the year. Her biggest contribution came in the final third of the match when she set up Darian Jenkins’ tying goal with this superb final pass through traffic in transition.

Tymrak nearly set up the game winner in the 80th minute in similar fashion, sending Jenkins through on goal again, but this time the shot was well saved by Louisville goalkeeper Katie Lund. Despite not getting the winner, the Pride earned their first point under Interim Head Coach Seb Hines. That performance sparked a seven-game unbeaten streak that pulled Orlando back into contention for the postseason until a swoon late in the year from Aug. 26 on. Without Tymrak’s efforts against Louisville, that sequence of events may not have happened.

2022 Final Grade

Tymrak receives a 5.5 composite rating out of 10 for her 2022 season from The Mane Land. This was viewed as a disappointing season compared to her 2021 performance, in which she earned a 6.5 rating out of 10 from The Mane Land staff after a two-goal, one-assist campaign. She played in fewer matches than in 2021 but got more starts and played more minutes, yet she was less productive in terms of goal contributions and shooting accuracy. She had twice as many (unblocked) shot attempts this season but got a lower percentage on target and failed to put any in. The opportunities were there for Tymrak in greater quantity but the quality wasn’t quite what it was a year ago, accounting for a slip in her overall grade.

2023 Outlook

Tymrak has qualified for free agency under the new NWSL guidelines and is out of contract, so her future in Orlando is very much up in the air as of this writing. The Pride may try to re-sign the veteran player, who is a calming influence on the pitch and sets a good example for younger players. Experience is never a bad thing to have on the roster. At age 31, Tymrak still has some tread on the tires — she isn’t the oldest player from the 2022 roster, and we expect the team to try to hold onto a couple of those older teammates. She can still be a valuable role player, but if she returns, the Pride will want her to improve on her productivity with the minutes she’s given.


Previous Season in Review Articles (Date Posted)

Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride Sign Midfielder Kerry Abello to New Contract

The Pride have signed midfielder Kerry Abello to a new three-year contract.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride announced this afternoon that the club has signed midfielder Kerry Abello to a new three-year contract. The deal keeps Abello in purple through the 2026 NWSL season.

“We are thrilled to keep Kerry in Orlando through 2026. Since joining the club, she has proven to be a reliable and versatile player for our team,” Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter said in a club press release. “In a few short years, she has grown into a leader in our locker room and sets the standard for professionalism and accountability, two values we center our culture around. Ensuring she remains a part of what we are building here, both on and off the field, was a priority for us in the off-season. We are happy to bring that to fruition and look forward to her continued growth and performance.” 

Abello was initially drafted by the Pride with the 24th pick of the 2021 NWSL Draft, but decided to return to school for a fifth season. The club finally signed the Penn State product to a two-year contract on Jan. 28, 2022. The midfielder signed another two-year deal on Feb. 23, 2023, with a club option for 2025. Just over a year later, she’s now inked a third contract, ensuring her stay in Orlando will run through 2026.

Initially coming off the bench, Abello became a regular starter late in her rookie season. Over the past three years, she’s seen time at attacking and defensive midfield, showing her versatility. In total, Abello has made 49 appearances (31 starts) in all competitions and recorded 2,835 minutes. She’s scored one goal and contributed one assist.

Last year, the 24-year-old midfielder made 25 appearances (18 starts), recording 1,642 minutes, and adding a goal and an assist. She participated in all but two league games and five of the team’s six Challenge Cup contests.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is truly no place I’d rather be. Thank you, Orlando, for having me for the next three years,” Abello said in a club press release. “I’m feeling full of joy, gratitude, and inspiration. There’s work to be done, and I can’t wait to put my whole heart into this season and all the rest. Vamos!”

The Batavia, IL, native was a part of the United States youth set up at the U-14, U-15, U-17, U-18, and U-19 levels. She received a call up to the U-23 U.S. Women’s National Team for the 2022 Women’s U-23 Three-Nations Tournament, scoring in a 3-0 win over Sweden.

Prior to being drafted by the Pride, Abello was a three-time All-Big Ten selection, helping Penn State win three Big Ten championships. She was also named to the All-North Team twice in her five collegiate seasons.

What It Means for Orlando

Similar to her last contract, this deal ensures that Abello will continue her stay in Orlando beyond the upcoming season. She originally started on the bench under former Pride head coach Amanda Cromwell, but won over Seb Hines with her versatility in the midfield. During her first two professional season, she’s played extensively at attacking and defensive midfield. However, she can also play on the back line, having been a center back in college.

Following the 2023 NWSL season, Carter told The Mane Land’s Skopurp Soccer podcast that the club focused on the back line last off-season and was focusing on the midfield this off-season. Signing Abello, who has been a crucial part of the club’s rebuild, was always going to be part of that plan.

Between the re-signing of Abello and the new additions to the team, the midfield has more depth than before. Abello’s presence could be crucial, because the midfield’s Brazilian internationals will likely miss time due to international call-ups. Abello can fill in multiple positions, ensuring there won’t be a significant drop-off when the internationals depart.

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Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride Unveil New Kits Ahead of 2024 NWSL Season

The Pride take part in the NWSL kit reset with new primary and secondary jerseys for the 2024 season.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride unveiled their two new kits today ahead of the 2024 NWSL season. The jerseys are part of the league-wide kit reset, launched by the NWSL and Nike. The club’s new Phoenix Kit features the Pride’s two recognizable colors, purple and blue, and the secondary Citrus Kit has an all-new color scheme, paying tribute to Florida’s citrus industry. Both jerseys will be formally unveiled on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at “The Kit Party presented by Orlando Health,” taking place at the Orlando Regional History Center.

Replicas of the two new jerseys are available for purchase at ShopOrlandoPride.com, in The Den at Inter&Co Stadium during regular business hours, and on NWSLshop.com. Replica goalkeeper jerseys will also be made available during a late spring release.

“We are proud to share two new, powerful kits with our fans and honored that we are again able to share the story of one of the pillars of our community and the state of Florida,” Pride Chief Marketing Officer Pedro Araujo said in a club press release. “Each year, it is important for us to use our platform to celebrate those that laid the foundation for our city, and this year is no different. We hope our fans are as excited to wear the Citrus Kit and the Phoenix Kit as we are, and to proudly represent Orlando both at home and outside of Central Florida. This new partnership with Nike is a very exciting moment for the league. We’re grateful for their continued support of the Orlando Pride and the NWSL as a whole and are excited for the future opportunities this new, refreshed commitment will bring to our kits and team performance gear.”

The Citrus Kit features a new orange and iced-out green scheme, a first for the Pride, with inspiration taken from Central Florida’s citrus industry. The jersey features oranges and leaves, with letters and numbers featuring the same iced-out green coloring. The design of the kit takes direct inspiration from the historic packaging of citrus crates and labels, unique to each grove. The back of the socks features a hand-drawn “Pride,” which is also inspired by the labels. Meanwhile, the “Outer Pride” on the lower corner of the jersey is a stylized “OP” with an orange cross-section and orange blossom leaves and flowers.

The primary home jersey this season will be the new Phoenix Kit, which is more recognizable to fans. The jersey features the club’s traditional colors of purple with blue letters and numbers. The jersey features a unique two-toned purple gradient that runs diagonally from the top right to the bottom left of the jersey. The club’s shirt sponsor, Orlando Health, remains in white, but the letters, numbers, and Nike logo on the darker purple are the team’s second color, “Eola Blue.”

The new kits are part of the NWSL’s league-wide kit reset, the first time a women’s professional soccer league has presented refreshed primary and secondary uniforms for all of its teams. Each club is receiving jerseys that reflect the club’s identity and joyful expression and celebrate the team’s community.

The Pride’s unveiling has been in cooperation with Hollieanna Groves, a local and family-owned grower, harvester, packer, and shipper of Florida citrus. The Maitland-based company is a fourth-generation packing house and sales room, providing the backdrop for one of the club’s kit photo shoots.

Here are some photos of the Pride’s newest kits courtesy of the Pride:

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Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride Place Megan Montefusco on Season-Ending Injury List

The Orlando Pride have placed center back Megan Montefusco on the season-ending injury list following surgery on her right foot.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride announced this afternoon that center back Megan Montefusco has been placed on the season-ending injury list. The defender had off-season right foot surgery, performed by the club’s official medical team, to repair a long-term problem.

“This is an unfortunate situation for Megan, though we’re happy she was able to address an issue that has plagued her for some time, and we are confident she will come out of this a stronger athlete,” Orlando Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter said in a club press release. “Our club is fully behind her and will support her throughout her rehab process, as will our amazing partners at Orlando Health. Our goal is to help Megan get back on the field as safely and smartly as possible, and we are behind her every step of the way. We look forward to seeing her back out on the pitch as soon as she is ready.”

The Pride originally acquired the defender in a trade with the Houston Dash on Jan. 28, 2022 that saw Marisa Viggiano go the other way. She was a regular starter at center back that year and through most of 2023, but lost the starting position when the club signed Brazilian international Rafaelle. Montefusco has made 45 appearances (42 starts) for 3,773 minutes in all competitions over her two seasons in Orlando, scoring one goal.

The 31 year-old signed a new contract with the Pride on June 15, 2023 through the 2024 season with an option for 2025. As one of the team’s main representatives alongside fellow center back Carrie Lawrence, Montefusco appeared at Orlando City’s preseason game against the New England Revolution, signing autographs and taking part in a question-and-answer session while wearing a walking boot.

What It Means for Orlando

This news is a bit of a blow to Orlando’s depth on the back line. Montefusco was the first center back off the bench late last year and was expected to have the same role this year. However, her absence will make room for Lawrence, who missed the 2023 season after suffering a torn ACL during preseason, and Tori Hansen, who is currently on loan with Melbourne Victory FC in Australia. The duo will now compete for the third center back spot unless the club replaces Montefusco with another veteran, as the NWSL transfer window remains open.

This injury could also open up a spot for the Pride to sign 2024 second-round NWSL Draft pick Cori Dyke, who the club took at No. 22 overall out of Penn State. Dyke has experience at center back in college. She played as a central midfielder for the first four years in college, but moved to center back for her final season. Despite moving to the back line, the 2023 season was her most productive offensively, as she recorded five goals and six assists.

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